I finally went through the most dreaded part of parenting a few months ago. Potty training. Well not completely through it. It’s a long process for sure but we are almost there and quite happy with the progress Alhumdulillah!
I am by no means an expert at this thing. I merely just went through it but i would still like to share my experience with all my readers. Because I believe It doesn’t matter if your experience is good or bad, if u share it, it can help somebody in immeasurable ways. You only have to open your mouth/write it down and SHARE. Another reason i am writing this is, well, for my future self, or rather future baby 😛 . Come on we all tend to forget things right?!
Coming back to potty training.
So like every other mommy nowadays, i googled potty training and read everything and anything that might help me. I then drafted a plan that would suit my daughter and her personality and then lo and behold, one chosen day i began!!
I did this on a weekend. No, two days are not enough, but i was post night shift so had Thursday off too (total three days, not enough either, but working moms just have to go with it!!). I could not take the week off as i had already used up my annual leave for the next month when we were traveling.
Timing is very important. Don’t do it when the child may be upset due to any other factor or going through a major change. Again every child is different so they might or might not be affected. I started right before we were traveling to America and were going to be road tripping a lot. People told me that my timing was wrong but i knew my child and i knew that I wouldn’t get any leave during the rest of the year and did not want to put off her potty training for that long.
I am not going to talk about potty training readiness signs and all. Each child is unique and the mother knows best when he or she is ready. All i know is that diaper changing had become a battle and i felt she was quite ready!
The days preceding, i decorated her bathroom with princesses and pink colours, i got all the toilet “equipment”, character undies (princesses again sigh) and downloaded all these apps in her ipad. The night before, i got rid of all her diapers, so there wasn’t any in sight (lest i desperately put one on her and give up!)
The day i started i started with playing and talking with my daughter as soon as she woke up. Then i steered the conversation to how she is all grown up and i think it’s time we say bye to pampers because they are stinky and dirty and grown ups don’t wear them.
She liked the idea and then i took her to the bathroom and took off that last pamper ever! We dumped it in the trash, did a little celebratory dance, and then i had her sit on her grown up toilet seat (which had princesses on it of course 😛 ) ! She didn’t do anything at that time but i told her it’s ok and we will try again after sometime.
On went her princess undies and a t-shirt (saves you the laundry). I put on a timer for every 15 mins on Perfect Potty app. But by the time half the day was over, i realised she went at 30mins intervals and every 15 mins was too frequent and tiring her.
The rules OUTSIDE of the bathroom were:
- Lots of fluids. The idea is practicing the feeling of a full bladder and relating it to peeing in the toilet.
- One m&m and 1 sticker for peeing, three m&ms and one large sticker for pooping. Print, download or draw a reward sheet and use it to encourage her.
- Peeing in the bathroom was profusely praised ( all that pee talk….)
- Accidents were cleaned up without a fuss saying that it should be done in the toilet and next time she should tell mommy that she has to go potty.
- Go about the day as normally as possible, but do throw in playing with those apps or any other encouraging activity.
The rules IN the bathroom were:
- Bathroom time when the alarm (on my phone ) beeps. After some time she related the too and would walk to the bathroom herself!
- No fuss just go into the bathroom and sit her onto the seat, let her try and take her off. Regardless of whether she went or not i would take her off within 2-3 minutes max.
- Say this out loud in the toilet “pee/poop, clean, flush, wash” so she learns the sequence.
- Lots and lots of praise and talking and celebratory singing and dancing.
- Give her the talk about telling mama herself that she wants to go next time. And that I am sooooooo proud of her!!!
This went on principally for 3 days. After that she pretty much got the idea of what was happening. She had asked for diapers quite a lot of times but persistence is key Mama. They will not remember this time most probably, but you cannot go through this process every time. Besides, if you or anyone else gives in, they will start thinking it’s something optional.
On Day 3 we took her out on a shopping spree. Yes out in the mall. I did cover the car seat with plastic, but she went to the toilet before leaving home and right as we entered the mall, so no accidents there. I tried keeping her in the stroller at the beginning of the trip but by the end she was playing around at Chuck e Cheese! The same rules worked in the Mall. Toilet every 30minutes. It was an extremely successful trip and she got a gift at the end for being a good “big” girl!
After 2 weeks she was at the point that she could hold her pee for an hour or two, and would tell us sometimes that she wants to go, but sometimes she wouldn’t. She would always tell us when she wants to poop though ( which was a blessing!!). And then came the time when we were travelling!!
Read all about how i continued potty training while travelling and some other other potty training tips and experiences in my next post!